Disasters

Eight Tips on Dealing with PR Disasters

Eight Tips on Dealing with PR Disasters

One of the problems that most small business owners fear is a public relations nightmare. Sadly, this can happen to almost any business owner who is in the public eye in some way. You never know when a comment will go viral – and worse, when it will be misunderstood in some way. If you ever find yourself dealing with a PR disaster, you’ll want to try to implement these tips.

1. Don’t Ignore the Situation

You cannot avoid bad situations. If something is harming your businesses or your reputation, you need to confront it. Even if it’s true and you’re ashamed, you can often overcome the problem by being open and honest and then working to fix the problem. If it’s not true, you will only look guilty if you don’t get ahead of the story.

2. Don’t Think That Your Reputation Will Save You

Even if up until now you’ve had a spotless reputation, a particular type of PR situation can overshadow your reputation – even if it’s false. The only way to fix someone’s erroneous perception is to tackle it head on in the bright light of day.

3. Don’t Wait until the Situation Has Exploded to Deal with It

If you already know something might come out to the public that you don’t want to, don’t wait. It’s not going to help anyone. Do what you can to mitigate any situation before it explodes. If you didn’t know about it and it’s false, you still don’t want to let it keep proliferating without a response from you.

4. Be Sincere and Honest

If you did do something that was not true or it was misleading in some way (even if you didn’t realize it consciously), once your public finds out it’s time to come clean. So many social media stars could have kept their careers if only they had responded appropriately to being outed for their misleading information.

5. Don’t Avoid Communication with Affected Customers and Stakeholders

Remember that you have many stakeholders – from your partner, to your kids, to your employees, contractors, customers, and possibly investors depending on the type of business that you are running. Every one of them needs to have communication from you regarding the issue in the terms that they will understand best.

6. Document Everything

When something happens, if you document it, you can often avoid it happening again. Sometimes a breakdown in communication is responsible for the nightmare. Other times it’s trusting the wrong vendors. Whatever it is, if you go through what happened, you can identify the problems that got you here so that you can avoid them next time.

7. Plan for a Crisis

Take some time to consider the various issues that you can face in your line of work. Make a list of possibilities so that you can plan for any type of crisis that might happen. That way, you know what to do. Plus, by writing it down you will often avoid the problem to start with as you identify causes.

8. Don’t Act in a Defensive Manner

If you’re experiencing a PR disaster right now, try not to behave defensively. If you’ve done nothing wrong, explain yourself with confidence. If you have made a mistake, admit it openly and honestly without being angry that you were discovered or that someone pointed it out.

If you really want to avoid dealing with PR disasters, the best way to do it is to create a plan for your public persona for answering questions in a way that your audience responds positively to, while always being honest. If something goes down, take the blame for your poor communication and try to do better next time.

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Dealing with Natural Disasters as an Entrepreneur

Dealing with Natural Disasters as an Entrepreneur

As a small business owner, it’s imperative to give some thought to the types of natural disasters you may be subjected to depending on where you live, and how that may affect your business and your customers’ ability to use your solutions and communicate with you.

Some of the things you may need to deal with and think about are:

* Flooding
* Hurricanes
* Fires
* Weather Issues
* Earthquakes

You could be dealing with many problems as a result of any of these natural disasters.

For example, if you experience flooding or fires where you live, you may lose your place to do business for a while as you clean up and rebuild. For almost any issue you may lose electricity, which can damage your ability to communicate with or accept payment from your customers.

You may end up shut down entirely for days, weeks, or months. As you consider each type of natural disaster you could be faced with, how prepared are you? Do you have flood insurance, fire insurance, and so forth? What about a backup method that you can employ if needed?

Here are some scenarios with suggestions on how to deal with them.

* I have no electricity: I have a backup generator. I will go to the local coffee shop. I can evacuate to my friend’s house.

* I must evacuate my area: I will evacuate to my colleague’s house by plane. I will use my fifth wheel to get out of town to a safe place.

* My server burned up: I have a backup server, so it’s all going to be okay as soon as we enter the right information, or it’s automatic, so this will not be an issue.

* My computer is damaged in a storm: I have insurance so I can buy a replacement right away. I back up everything in the cloud.

* I can’t do business for two or three weeks: I have savings and insurance that will help me. I have processes in place that will allow someone else to service my customers.

* I lost everything in a fire: I have insurance that will pay for everything, and I have savings that enable me to purchase backups.

Know what type of insurance you have, as well as the humans that can help you, by keeping the phone numbers handy. Make it even better by having redundant backup systems for your technology that enable you to keep on going when needed.

Understand that the main thing that is going to protect you and your business is pre-planning. Consider the types of natural disasters that you may need to deal with. Don’t discount environmental disasters either, such as oil spills. These affect people just like natural disasters since they’re usually so sudden.

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